No one likes to be misrepresented. Especially if you have carefully thought out why you believe certain things, it is frustrating to hear these beliefs mischaracterized. This is true in the natural realm, as people involved in politics can attest (the political conservatives I know are all sick of being painted as hard-hearted money-grubbers and those more politically liberal tire of being thought of as empty-headed communists). In terms of religious belief, we at Strange BaptistFire have been particularly concerned with the mischaracterizations in regards to Reformed theology coming from within the Baptist community. One consolation we Calvinists have, however, when straw men in our name are erected and knocked down, is that our strong convictions concerning the sovereignty of God allow us to confess that He is in control, so that we do not have to worry- trusting that the truths we insist upon cannot be fully and finally obscured.
So when we hear Reformed exegesis misrepresented, those holding to Calvinistic beliefs will often mention that God is using even the falsehood we hear for His glory, and that the outrageous comments made by some anti-Calvinist teachers will certainly cause some people to look into Reformed theology and immediately recognize the dishonesty in the presentations they have previously heard, thus becoming more open to the teachings of God’s sovereign grace in our salvation.
In order to demonstrate that the consolation mentioned above is more that merely wishful thinking, in this post I am presenting an account written by Evan Stewart, a friend of mine from Kosmosdale Baptist Church. (more…)